MENLO PARK, Calif., June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlens Corporation, Inc., a privately held medical technology company that has created a revolutionary hearing aid, today announced the first close of $51 million in its Series C preferred stock financing led by Vertex Healthcare. Financing proceeds were split between $34 million in new capital and $17 million conversion of an outstanding bridge financing. The company expects to complete the financing during the third quarter of 2016 by raising an additional $14 million in support of the commercial launch of the Earlens Light Driven Hearing Aid.
New investors to the round include global healthcare investor Vertex Healthcare as lead, and Cochlear Ltd, a market leader in advanced implantable hearing technology. Participation by major existing investors included New Enterprise Associates, Aisling Capital, Lightstone Ventures and Medtronic.
"Hearing impairment is a significant health issue globally which has been greatly underserved by conventional hearing technology," said Christopher Shen, MD, Managing Director of Vertex Healthcare. "We are pleased to be a part of the team bringing this groundbreaking new technology to market. We believe the unique advantages of Earlens will benefit many of those hearing impaired individuals and their loved ones looking for a better solution to hearing impairment."
Unlike conventional hearing aids that use a small speaker to amplify sound, the Earlens Hearing Aid uses focused light and a small lens resting on the eardrum. Together, they create a rich, natural sound and provide the greatest dynamic range of any hearing aid. Using light to transmit sound also eliminates the major source of whistling afflicting conventional hearing aids. Clinical studies have shown Earlens can make it easier for people with mild to severe sensorineural hearing impairment to understand people in noisy environments and participate in group situations.
Earlens Corporation is a privately held medical device company committed to providing hearing impaired patients a superior hearing solution. The company has developed the Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid, the first hearing device to use light to transmit sound. In late 2015, the FDA cleared a De Novo premarket submission allowing Earlens to market their Light-Driven Hearing Aid. Incorporated in 2005, Earlens Corporation is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. www.earlens.com
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SOURCE Earlens Corporation, Inc.